Jacques Pepin’s Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces (I used stew beef from my CSA)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine [I use Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck of Pinor Noir]
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 thyme sprig
- One 5-ounce piece of pancetta (I used 4 slices of bacon because I’m not fancy and thus don’t just have pancetta in my life)
- 15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled (Once again, not fancy, so I just chopped up an onion)
- 15 cremini mushrooms
- 15 baby carrots, peeled (Or slice up 2-3 regular carrots)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 ½ hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it ½ inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons. [I just sliced up my bacon into ½ in or so slices and fried them in a saucepan. You don’t want them too crispy, just nicely browned.]
- In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ¼ cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
- To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.
I like to be able to serve my stew on something; I always make cheddar muffins, beer bread, or some type of bread to pour the stew over.
Pecan Beer Bread
- 2 Cups Flour
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Pecans (Chopped)
- 2 Eggs
- 1 12oz Beer
- ¼ Cup Melted Butter
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Sift together all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, beer, and melted butter and whisk together.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until wet throughout. Pour into a standard bread pan (or a loaf pan) and stick it in the oven. Bake for 45-60 mins. Check doneness with a toothpick.